The Kia Soul 2010 is a new subcompact car from this Korean automaker. The Soul is lauded for being a cool, affordable ride with a growing emphasis on personality, versatility and technology. Soul is a front-wheel drive, 4-door wagon that’s slightly larger than Kia’s Rio. Four trim levels are offered: Soul, Soul+, Soul! (exclaim), and Soul sport. Base Soul models are powered by a 122-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that teams with a 5-speed manual transmission. Standard on the other versions is a 142-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that pairs with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.
With its boxy shape, the 2010 Soul clearly has the Scion xB in its sights. However, the Kia has more rounded edges and a more angled greenhouse that features sharp-looking, blacked-out A-pillars. Inside, a stylish design available in two-tone hues complements straightforward controls. In terms of size, the Soul slots in between the too-small original xB and the current too-big (for some) xB, providing ample interior space and just enough cargo capacity.
The interior features lots of interesting shapes, including a center stack that juts out in a pod featuring those simple audio and climate controls. Available features like special upholstery and two-tone color schemes make the all-black Honda Fit and Scion xB cabins seem unimaginative and depressing.
The amount of interior room is impressive, with high-mounted seats granting all passengers (regardless of size) an ample amount of legroom. The tall roof line leaves lots of space for gelled coifs. With the backseat raised or lowered, cargo room is significantly lacking compared to the cavernous xB and Fit, although the Soul’s boxy shape certainly helps when carrying large items.
Available safety features include ABS, traction control, an antiskid system, front-side airbags, and curtain-side airbags. Power windows and locks are standard on all models. The base Soul has 15-inch wheels. Soul+ adds 16-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, and a wireless cell-phone link. Soul! has a sunroof and 18-inch wheels. Soul sport has unique 18-inch wheels, sport suspension, and specific interior and exterior trim.